Grain shippers applaud Government position on C-49

Amendments will deliver better rail service for the grain industry

Print
| Source: Western Grain Elevator Association

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, April 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) applauds Minister Garneau’s decision to accept key amendments to Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act.  The amendments will help balance the relationship between grain shipper and railway and will result in more reliable rail service for the grain supply chain.

“Grain shippers, farmers, end-users and the Canadians they employ, will all benefit from the Government’s proposed amendments,” said Wade Sobkowich, Executive Director of the WGEA.  “The Government’s decision to table these amendments will ensure that the supply chain is positioned to take advantage of growing demand for grain around the world, helping to grow the rural economy across the Prairies.”

Rail service is essential to get grain off the Prairies to customers and ports across North America. Grain shippers currently have limited tools to hold railways to account when they do not deliver rail cars that grain shippers order.  A lack of competition and accountability has resulted in abysmal rail service 2 of the last 4 years, negatively impacting shippers, farmers and end-users around the world.   

“This will give shippers the tools they need to hold railways to account, tools that have been missing for decades,” added Mr. Sobkowich.  “It is essential that Parliament move quickly to accept the amendments and pass C-49 so that grain shippers can start to use the much-needed tools it contains.”

Minister Garneau has tabled a motion in Parliament amending Bill C-49.  His amendments build on the targeted amendments made by the Senate and will make the tools contained in Bill C-49 more meaningful for shippers.  In particular, the amendments being made to Long Haul Interswitching (LHI) will mean more grain elevators can access this important tool that will bring more competition and better service to grain shippers.

The WGEA is an association of grain businesses operating in Canada which collectively handle in excess of 90% of western Canada’s bulk grain exports. Its members account for approximately one fifth of bulk railway revenue in Canada and pay annual total freight of one and a half billion dollars. For more information on the WGEA’s perspective on the rail environment visit: www.wgea.ca.

Wade Sobkowich, Executive Director, WGEA (204) 942-6835 or wgea@mts.net